What Does Bell Operating Company (BOC) Mean?
A Bell operating company (BOC) is any one of a group of 22 original local telephone companies that existed prior to 1984 after AT&T was divided up in 1983. Each BOC was given the right to provide local telephone service in a given geographic areas. The companies initially existed as AT&T subsidiaries and were called the Bell System. AT&T divested them to improve competition. The BOCs are not allowed to manufacture equipment and initially were not allowed to provide long-distance service.
The Unix operating system was developed by AT&T and the antitrust lawsuit that split up the company allowed AT&T to bring Unix to the market.